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Challenging Criminalization Exhibits

We Are All Criminals (WAAC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to challenging society’s perceptions of what it means to be “criminal.” Through shared stories of those who committed or were accused of committing crimes, those who got away with them, and those who have been directly affected by the criminal justice system, we seek to erase the barriers that separate us. WAAC challenges society’s perception of what it means to be a criminal. It is also a commentary on the disparate impact of our nation’s policies, policing, and prosecution: many of the participants benefited from belonging to a class and race that is not over-represented in the criminal justice system. Permanent and public criminal records perpetuate inequities, precluding millions from countless opportunities to move on and move up. WAAC calls out the injustice in those policies. (from WAAC)


1 in 4 people has a criminal record; 4 in 4 have a criminal history

Suggested Reading

Visiting Day
Knock Knock
An American Marriage
Sing, Unburied, Sing
Golden Gulag
Arrested Justice
Understanding Mass Incarceration
Addicted to Incarceration
A Country Called Prison
Abolishing Carceral Society
To Tell the Truth Freely
The New Jim Crow
Do Prisons Make Us Safer?
From Education to Incarceration
Punishing the Poor
The Social, Monetary, and Moral Costs of Prisons
Blood in the Water
Are Prisons Obsolete?
This Is Where I Am
Writing My Wrongs
How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America
From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime
Captive Nation
From slave ship to Supermax : mass incarceration, prisoner abuse, and the new neo-slave novel
American Prison
Black Against Empire
Invisible No More

Disapproved Books

In Fall of 2018, artist Daniel McCarthy Clifford collaborated with Betsy Friesen of University of Minnesota Libraries to create an art installation titled The Section of Disapproved Books at Weisman Art Museum. The installation exhibited 600+ books that have been banned or disapproved by corrections facilities across the country. Daniel and Betsy generously shared their list of books so that we at St. Kate's Libraries could create a miniature section of disapproved books from our own collections. Please see below for a list of disapproved books from our library, and find more information about Daniel's art on his website.

Browse the books

American Vernacular
Arc of Justice
Atlas of Human Anatomy
Black Skin, White Masks
The book of signs : which contains all manner of symbols used from the earliest times to the middle ages by primitive peoples and early Christians
Che Guevara Speaks
Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt
The Dictionary of Symbols
Everything That Rises Must Converge
The Film Encyclopedia
Four Past Midnight
A Game of Thrones
The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Hate U Give
Kafka on the Shore
Pagan Babies
The Satanic Verses
Trans Bodies, Trans Selves
The Vagina Monologues
The Wright Brothers
El Amor en los Tiempos del Cólera
The Art of Tinkering
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
Blood in My Eye
Burmese Days
The Color Purple
Dead End Kids
The Devil in the White City
Doctor Sleep
Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine
Five Years of My Life
Friday Night Lights
Gay Ideas
Going up the River
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Printer's Ornaments from the Renaissance to the 20th Century
Running with Scissors
Ulysses: James Joyce
Women and Art
Ancient evenings
Black Power Revolt
Bloodletters and Badmen
The Chamber
Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art
The Death of Innocents
Oxford Dictionary of Chemistry
Downtown Owl
The End of White World Supremacy
Edible Wild Plants
Your Limited Liability Company
The Gallaudet Dictionary of American Sign Language
The Girl in the Spider's Web
Graffiti and Street Art
The Inferno
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
The Pillars of the Earth
A Storm of Swords
Working from Home

Incarceration by the Numbers

©2014 St. Catherine University Library, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA